The 90-minute special is going to lead into Biden’s swearing-in ceremony later in the day. It further contributes to the effort to turn the otherwise massive event that traditionally sees Americans gather at the U.S. Capitol steps into a more virtual experience in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report from Deadline, Hanks will host the special, which will be broadcast on several networks including NewsNow from Fox, ABC, CBS and Amazon Prime Video. Those without access to any of those platforms can also tune in on the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s social media pages.
Tom Hanks will host a primetime special titled ‘Celebrating America’ ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.
In addition to Hanks, stars like Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi are expected to appear for performances during the special. More celebrities are expected to be announced in the coming days. In addition to Hollywood stars, the president-elect and vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, will appear as well.
“This inauguration presents a unique opportunity to spotlight the resilience and spirit of an America United,” said Delaware State University president and Presidential Inaugural Committee CEO Tony Allen in a statement to the outlet. “We have witnessed countless heroes this past year step up to the frontlines and serve their fellow Americans, so we are telling their stories, spreading their collective light, and celebrating the best of our country and its people with this prime-time program.”
Despite concerns about COVID-19 safety protocols and potential protests similar to the one that turned into a riot that breached the security of the U.S. Capitol building last week, Biden’s inauguration is still planned to take place in the usual spot. However, officials including the D.C. Mayor are encouraging people to stay home and attend the event virtually.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to announce key administration posts.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Similar to how the Democratic National Convention took place, things like the “Celebrating America” special will help make attending the event from home more appealing to people who may have otherwise traveled to Washington D.C.
On Monday, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the theme of Biden’s ceremony to be “America United.”
“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, America United reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” the organization said in a press release announcing the theme.